Lead In With Lorne – You Will Receive an Email That Challenges You to Be a Giver

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Podcast Respect

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Hi readers and listeners,  

We invite you to take a couple minutes to watch/listen to our new podcast, Lead In with Lorne: A Leadership Story to Start Off Your Week.

Lorne discusses how the most successful people are generally givers. This week, you’ll likely receive an email that asks you for something. Challenge yourself to be a giver in this situation.

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too (iTunes coming in the near future). We hope it enriches your Monday

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story. 

 

Uncover Your Company’s Real Culture

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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A Not So Casual Friday Story: I was recently invited to speak to a legal forum, and I had everything prepared… Except I forgot to ask about the dress code.

So, I showed up in a sports coat and dress pants, but no tie. There’s no doubt that wearing a full suit and tie in North American business settings has diminished dramatically over the last decade. (Some might ask, who still wears ties to work in 2019)?

Well whoops… They do. They wear ties. Every male judge and lawyer was wearing a tie. Not only that, the organization has been around since 1930, and wearing a tie was a ritual and sign of respect. I come to find out, they even have a rule “no tie and you buy everyone a round of drinks.” Great.

To make things a little more awkward, my presentation was on the elements required to build a great culture, and I stood there as a cultural faux pas. Fortunately, they were gracious and also waived my obligation to buy a round. To make a bit of lemonade out of a lemon, I used this tie example to illustrate how dress code and ritual contribute to defining the real culture of a group.

Key Point: Aga Bajer is a cultural strategist, admired colleague of mine, and works out of Milan, Italy. (Read her complete blog on cultural anthropology here). The following are tasty excerpts:

“What do you notice about how people dress, socialise, go about achieving goals, how they communicate? How about the reward systems, conflict, problem-solving and decision making, leadership, stories and heroes, and rituals? Here are some questions you can ask yourself in each of these areas:

Dress code.
How do people dress for work? What message does the dress code communicate? Are there any differences between how people dress in different parts of the organisation? If yes, what does it seem to signify?

Socialising.
How do people socialise – is it done in a structured and organised way or spontaneously and ad hoc? What is the frequency of people’s get-togethers? Who initiates them? Who seems to connect with whom? What seems to be the emotional energy when people meet?

Achievement.
What are the accepted performance expectations? How are goals set, measured and tracked? What does planning look like? Who is involved in goal setting and planning? What is the level of enthusiasm and engagement in pursuing goals? Where does it stem from?

Communication.
How are information, guidelines, and directives shared between people? Is communication formal, informal or both? Is communication happening organically or is it strategic and well planned? How effective is it?

Rewards.
What gets people promoted here? How are people rewarded, acknowledged and incentivised? How were these reward systems created? How effective are they?

Conflict.
How does conflict express itself? How is it handled? How does it get resolved? What are people’s beliefs about conflict?

Problem-solving and decision making.
How are problems identified? When? Who is usually involved in problem-solving? Who takes the lead? Are issues solved and decisions made through collective brainstorming and discussions or individual efforts? Does the approach to problem-solving work?

Leadership.
How does leadership work? What is the prevalent leadership style? Is leadership perceived to be a position or an action? Is leadership power concentrated at the top or evenly spread across the organisation? What are the accepted leadership role models?

Stories and heroes.
What stories do people share when asked: ‘Tell me a story that illustrates what it’s like to work here?’ What are the stories shared spontaneously in casual conversations at the water cooler? Who are the heroes in your organisation – people considered to be ‘legends’ or outstanding in some way?

Rituals.
What rituals do people engage in? Why do they exist, what purpose do they serve? Do people participate willingly?”

Actions you can take:

  1. As you try and better understand what your culture really is versus what’s published or publicized, be a bit of a cultural anthropologist. Observe and answer Aga’s and other questions.
  2. As you map out what your culture could do more/less of, understanding gaps and blind spots will help you develop your action plan for going forward.
  3. Follow Aga, she has much to offer.

Tie your culture together in Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: According to USA Today, consumer DNA testing kits like 23andMe were among the most popular holiday gifts given and received in 2018. People really want to know about their personal ancestry, so why not apply similar curiosity towards your company culture? While it may not be as scientifically sound, applying Aga’s questions to your own organization doesn’t cost $125 dollars or require sending your saliva to strangers.

– Garrett

Blog 961

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

 

Lead In With Lorne – You Will Be the Topic of a Dinner Conversation This Week

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Podcast Respect

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Hi readers and listeners,  

We invite you to take a couple minutes to watch/listen to our new podcast, Lead In with Lorne: A Leadership Story to Start Off Your Week.

This week, Lorne talks about how as a leader, you will be the topic of someone’s dinner conversation this week. What will they talk about? What are they saying about you? Remember that as a leader, you leave a wake.

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too (iTunes coming in the near future). We hope it enriches your Monday

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story. 

Have You Had a Good Fight Lately?

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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Story: I remember attending my first executive meeting at a new organization I joined. As the rookie member of the team, I was going to mostly listen. What surprised me was the lack of real conversation among the participants. The CEO deftly chaired the agenda, but it was mostly “crickets” relative to any meaningful discussion. The Executive Vice Presidents were PowerPoint magicians of course, with their update reports full of detail. However it was like an unwritten collusive agreement had been reached between the execs to present and escape without any substantive debate, challenge or amendment. The burden was all on the CEO to find the real story in the PowerPoint fog, with everyone taking their turn in the ring. Over my tenure, that environment and tenor changed dramatically. We learned to “fight well” and this behavioral progression was vital to the success of the organization.

Key Point: The “conversation is the relationship and the relationship the conversation.” I believe this behavioral tenant coined by author Susan Scott, is one of the most daunting and important statements for people to reflect on and apply both personally and professionally. People who know me find that I challenge all teams with this principle. A high performing team intentionally embraces it. Subsequently, effective team meetings of high functioning groups are boisterous, rollicking affairs that involve fierce conversations. The trust and psychological safety is foundational, and while hopefully well facilitated to avoid chaos, group sessions take on a character of where “real stuff” gets discussed, decided and done. While there are moments where people may not be at their best, become defensive, and messy, top teams  learn to fight well. They become devoutly committed to respectful straight talk and getting after the right issues. So if you are part of a group where the actual conversations happen before or after the meeting, and/or fluffy niceness prevails, I contend that you have a group more than a team. Collectively you will likely never accomplish anything extraordinary.

Actions you can take:

  1. If you lead a group, learn what it takes to have fierce, rich, meaningful conversation where the advancement of the greater good prevails. (This is hard, takes time and you need to model what you expect).
  2. As a group participant, learn to master facilitating and contributing to rich conversations, including having constructive disagreements with your colleagues. Become self-aware of how you bring value to the dynamics. Help the team fight well.

Scrappy in leadership!

Lorne

One Millennial View: Meeting on, gloves off. A professional, good fight at work can be fun, productive and leave everyone fired up to continue forward in a positive direction. If you’re surrounded by people that agree with you 100 percent of the time, you’re not part of a team, you’re part of a cult.

– Garrett

Blog 959

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

 

Deliver Some Pizza Love!

Abundance Accountability Respect

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Story: This past weekend, Canadian air traffic controllers in Edmonton sent pizza to their counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska, who are working without a paycheck due the government shutdown in the U.S. According to various media outlets, Canadian ATCs have sent “pizza love” to at least 41 American towers to date, and predictably, the response has been overwhelmingly positive for all. Other than the fact a vast majority of us enjoy pizza, I’m always struck by how small gestures like this have such an impact. Why?

Key Point: It really matters when other people compassionately think about us. That is not a new revelation, of course. So if not, why don’t we do it more often? Everyday we have an opportunity to send some form of “pizza love.” I don’t want to disrespect the donut, gelato, or any other digestible item. It could be anything that says, “We/I know you’re experiencing something difficult, and thinking about you. How might we/I help?” Think about departments or divisions in your organization that are rattled by a business challenge or personal circumstance. It really matters that you intentionally recognize the situation. When we genuinely express our compassion and care, it is more than an act of kindness. It binds us together in the most human sustainable way, and adds to our togetherness. So small, and always surprisingly so big.

Actions you can take:

  1. Send some “pizza love” to some group/or person in your organization this week. It’s just a click or phone call to make it so. Don’t use budget as an excuse not to. Just do it.
  2. While you’re at it this week, maybe call your mom or dad and thank them too. They did the best they knew how. Lucky you.

A moment for Pizza Love in Leadership,

Lorne

One Millennial View: The same people that think “pizza love” is a little cheesy are usually the ones that don’t deliver their piece of the pie. All terrible puns aside, these small gestures are cleary big enough to make international headlines. While your company may not make the news, if it’s free food for a good cause, someone is likely to at least write home about it.

– Garrett

Blog 958

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis.